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The iPhone X is here – but is it worth the wait?

The iPhone X has officially launched – though you might still have to wait a while to get you hands on it. See how it stacks up against the competition

The iPhone X is here – but is it worth the wait?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll almost certainly have heard of the iPhone X. It’s now available to buy – but should you? We give our impressions ahead of our hands-on review.

There have been few product launches in 2017 that have created anything even close to the hype of the iPhone X. It’s being advertised everywhere, written about seemingly constantly and is all over social media.

Apple says the iPhone X is the future of the smartphone, with its suite of features including facial recognition, dual cameras, wireless charging and an all-screen design.

But the future is, apparently, expensive. The iPhone X costs a mind-blowing £999 to buy outright, if you go for the 64GB option. If you want a bit more space and opt for the 256GB version, it will cost £1,149.

Find out the cheapest way to buy the iPhone X today.

The future is also, apparently, delayed. The Apple website currently says it will take five to six weeks for your iPhone X to be delivered to you, regardless of the storage capacity or colour you go for. You might have better luck with retailers – for instance, Currys currently predicts around two weeks for delivery.

There will probably be some delay if you buy the iPhone X from a mobile network provider, too. For example, O2 says that home delivery of the phone will take up to three weeks, while EE says you should expect it to be dispatched within 28 days.

But is the iPhone X worth the cost and the wait? Below, we explore its key features, and compare it to some of the latest big-ticket smartphone releases from Samsung and Google.

It’s fair to say we’ll be shocked if the iPhone X doesn’t do well in our lab – find out which others have already made the grade in our Best Buy mobile phones.

What’s so special about the iPhone X?

The feature that’s really got chins wagging is Face ID. You can unlock the phone with facial recognition, rather than with a passcode or fingerprint scanner.

There are some inevitable security concerns about this – you may be worried that a stranger could unlock your iPhone X with a photo of you, and then gain access to your personal data. However, Apple reassures that Face ID has been designed to prevent spoofing.

Interestingly, there’s no fingerprint scanner on the iPhone X, as Apple has done away with the home button. Instead, you simply swipe up to access the home screen, provided the phone recognises your face.

Apple has gone for a new all-screen (well, almost) design with the X, which really sets it apart from other Apple models from the last few years, including the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. It’s pretty stunning, if you can see past the ‘notch’ at the top of the screen, and we can’t wait to get our hands (and eyes) on it.

Like the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, the X has a glass rear. Previous iPhones have had metal backs, but the move to glass is to facilitate wireless charging – that is, you place it on top of a charging mat, rather than attaching a cable directly into the phone’s Lightning port.

But just how innovative are these features? Head to our news story exploring how revolutionary the iPhone X is, to find out.

iPhone X vs Samsung Galaxy Note 8 vs Google Pixel 2 XL

Of course, the iPhone X isn’t the only top-of-the-range smartphone you can buy.

In the last few months, we’ve seen the Galaxy Note 8 from Samsung, and more recently the Pixel 2 XL from Google. They’re similarly expensive to the iPhone X, with the Note 8 costing £869 to buy outright, while the Pixel 2 XL is a slightly cheaper £799.

Below, we’ve picked out some of the key specs from each phone to help you compare them at a glance. Beneath the table, we explore a few of these differences.

Apple iPhone X Samsung Galaxy Note 8 Google Pixel 2 XL
Screen size (inches) 5.8 6.3 6.0
Display resolution 1,125 x 2,436 1,440 x 2,960 1,440 x 2880
Rear camera Dual 12Mp Dual 12Mp 12.2Mp
Battery size 2,716mAh 3,300mAh 3,520mAh
Traditional headphone socket No Yes No
Water resistance IP67 IP68 IP67

One common feature with these new high-end phones is they all have large, high-resolution displays and fancy cameras. The Pixel 2 XL has a single rear 12.2Mp camera. The iPhone X and the Note 8, on the other hand, have jumped on the dual camera trend.

On both phones, while one of the rear cameras is a telephoto lens, the other is wide-angle. This means you should be able to zoom in on objects without witnessing a noticeable dip in quality. All rear cameras on all three phones all also have optical image stabilisation, which should help you take blur-free shots even if you’re on the move.

The iPhone X has the smallest battery capacity, while the Pixel 2 XL has the largest. However, this doesn’t automatically mean that the Pixel 2 XL lasts the longest. Battery life depends on more than its size – other factors come into play, such as processor efficiency.

We’re looking forward to having full results for all phones so we can compare their battery life. Curious about how long the Samsung model lasts? Head to our Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review now.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is the only one of the three to have a traditional headphone socket. With the iPhone X, you insert headphones through the Lightning cable, using an adaptor or Lightning headphones. The Google Pixel 2 XL, on the other hand, uses a USB-C port.

Finally, the Galaxy Note 8 is the most water-resistant. With an IP68 rating, it should withstand a half-hour dip in 1.5 metres of water and still work. Whereas the iPhone X and Google Pixel 2 XL can only sink to one metre, for the same amount of time.

So in summary, all of these new phones are pretty stacked with features. If the iPhone X lives up to the hype, there will be some serious decisions to be made at this end of the market – but the competition, for consumers, can only be a good thing.

Still undecided? Read our guide on How to choose the best mobile phone.

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